GMOs: The Dos And Do Nots
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Politics and Activism

GMOs: The Dos And Do Nots

Are they safe?

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GMOs: The Dos And Do Nots
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“GM technology has been around for the past 20 years, and today, 70-80 percent of the foods we eat in the United States, both at home and away from home, contain ingredients that have been genetically modified” (factsaboutgmos.org). It is true a majority of our foods have been genetically manipulated in one way or another. However, is it safe? According to factsaboutgmos.org it is. This site however, does not mention the use of B.T. toxin producing plants.

B.T. or Bacillus thuringiensis is a type of bacteria that produces proteins which are toxic to insects. Many pro-GMO websites will not mention B.T. by name. However, they will mention the use of insecticide producing plants. One can only assume that these insecticide producing plants are in fact the GM crops that produce B.T. Studies show that the GM crops that have been modified to aid pest control may be toxic to humans. When first studied, B.T. was shown to cause no harm to many species including humans. In fact, it was one of the first biological control agents approved by the EPA. The recent studies of this toxin show us the opposite. They show that B.T. may cause issues with the transportation of oxygen and carbon dioxide throughout the body. B.T. can also have a toxic effect on other organs in the body.

Although there are negative effects presented through the use of GMOs, such as, the toxicity of B.T. there are other uses for this method that can benefit us. In many cases, it can be determined that the genetic modification of crops is unnecessary. However, other cases it seems it may be necessary. In fact, through the use of GMOs, we may have the ability to hugely reduce world hunger thanks to projects like the golden rice project.

The idea behind the golden rice project is to produce an easy to grow, inexpensive crop that will help feed the malnourished people. Golden rice is a genetically modified form of rice that produces β-carotene, which is a good source of vitamin A. Vitamin A is one of the most damaging micro-nutrient deficiencies in the world (goldenrice.org). With the production of Golden rice and other GM crops, the amount of food could increase and move the issue of vitamin deficiency in the right direction.

There are many other pros and cons to producing GMOs. The list is so long, one person would not be able to simply name them all in one paper. Both sides put up great arguments as to why we should proceed with GMO research and production or why we should cease these actions.

Chief EU Scientist Anne Glover said, “Any new tool or technology can have unintended and unwanted effects if used unwisely.” In an ideal world we would not be faced with disease and malnutrition and if we were, we would most likely be able to solve it easily with no repercussions. With this in mind, it would be wise to require the following regarding any new technology: experiment on and test every aspect of the technology exponentially to ensure human safety, only use the technology if it is truly beneficial to humans and our environment, and finally human advancements should not be made for personal gain but for the benefit of humanity. While more rules than just the three listed should be in place, these rules are a good start. Many new technologies will be coming into this world within the next 100 years, but it is up to us to use them responsibly.


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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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